There was plenty for Indian Creek High School softball coach Gary Mitchell to like in Friday night’s showing.
The Braves blew open a once-close game by scoring 13 runs in the final three innings en route to a 16-3 rout of Whiteland in the first round of the Johnson County Softball Tournament at Center Grove High School.
“We came to play, that’s for sure,” Mitchell said. “That was a good effort on our part. We hit up and down the lineup. Everyone on the team contributed. Everybody got at least one hit and some got multiple hits.”
The Braves (7-9) will play Greenwood, which received a bye, at 10 a.m. in one of today’s semifinals at Center Grove. The championship is set for 12:30 p.m.
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“If these kids play with this kind of attitude, we’ll show up (today) and compete,” Mitchell said.
Braves senior first baseman Macy Ashley hit a home run to give the Braves a 1-0 lead in the second inning.
“I thought at first it was just going to be a pop out,” said Ashley of her first homer of the year.
Ashley later hit a ball during the Braves’ five-run fifth inning that went off the right fielder’s glove for a two-base error, scoring two runs.
“She was seeing the ball good (Friday night),” the Braves’ Mitchell said.
After the Braves went ahead 2-0 in the third on sophomore Kasey Wilhoit’s RBI single, the Warriors tied it up with two runs in the bottom of the third. The Braves took the lead for good at 3-2 in fourth on Williams’ RBI groundout.
Indian Creek added five runs in the fifth, two in the sixth and six in the seventh.
Braves senior center fielder Sydney Williams delivered two hits, including a double, with three runs batted in.
“Once Macy hit that home run, it started to get everyone going and we just fed off that,” Williams said. “We’ve been doing pretty good working as a team. We’ve been having a lot of errors lately, but (Friday) we cut it down to one error and we all had lots of hits.”
Her coach agreed better fielding helped.
“We’ve been telling these guys if we play without errors we are going to win ball games,” said Mitchell, whose Braves nipped Whiteland 2-1 earlier this season. “We had one miscue and that was it. We were able to take advantage of some of their (errors).
“They’ve got a good coach and they were trying hard. We just had them outmatched a little bit.”
Sophomore Rachel Kyle had three hits, including a double and a RBI for the Braves, who collected 14 hits. Junior Brittany Dugan was the winning pitcher.
The Warriors were hampered by seven errors.
“They started picking up our pitcher (Kathleen Parrish) and we just need to make defensive plays,” said Whiteland coach Katie Mitchell, whose team dropped to 4-20.
The Warriors’ coach said much of the problem with the errors was having players in different spots. Five starters are out with various injuries.